Languages

The History of English in Ten Minutes

Where did the phrase ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ come from? And when did scientists finally get round to naming sexual body parts? Voiced by Clive Anderson, this entertaining romp through 'The History of English' squeezes 1600 years of history into 10 one-minute bites, uncovering the sources of English words and phrases from Shakespeare and the King James Bible to America and the Internet. Bursting with fascinating facts, the series looks at how English grew from a small tongue into a major global language before reflecting on the future of English in the 21st century.

Video
Beginners’ Spanish: food and drink Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Mike Truman free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages

Beginners’ Spanish: food and drink

Do you want to improve your language skills and communicate more easily and effectively in Spanish? This free course, Beginners’ Spanish: food and drink, focuses on buying and ordering food and drink at a restaurant or bar. You will be able to use some basic vocabulary relating to food, drinks, meals, quantities and measures. In this OpenLearn course you will listen to Spanish speakers in a variety of situations.

Free course
6 hrs

Languages

Beginners’ German: Food and drink

This free course, Beginners' German: Food and drink, provides materials at German for beginners level that support the development of listening, reading, writing and speaking skills. The content focus is on food, restaurants and eating habits. The course also gives examples of how grammar, vocabulary, cultural aspects and study skills are taught in the Beginners' German module.

Free course
6 hrs
Why is 'modern language' taken to mean 'European language'? Creative commons image Icon Prince You under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license article icon

Languages 

Why is 'modern language' taken to mean 'European language'?

In education in the UK, 'modern languages' all too often means those of Northern Europe.  Dr Jieun Kiaer argues that it's an attitude that's outdated.

Article
Understanding language and learning Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © davidf / iStockphoto.com free course icon Level 3 icon

Languages 

Understanding language and learning

Learning is understood broadly as any kind of activity, whether in a formal or informal context, that enhances an individual’s knowledge or skills in one way or another. The relationship between language and learning is approached in three ways: learning a language, learning about language and learning through language. This free course, Understanding language and learning, explains and illustrates the different relationships between language and learning, and these are illustrated through videos, activities and other examples.

Free course
10 hrs
Why has English taken over academia? Creative commons image Icon ChristianMcCarthy under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license article icon

Languages 

Why has English taken over academia?

If English is globally squeezing out teaching in local languages, the fault isn't with the language but with economics. Anna Kristina Hultgren and Elizabeth J. Erling explain.

Article
Exploring languages and cultures free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages 

Exploring languages and cultures

Explore the multiple relationships between languages and cultures. In this free course you will learn about the benefits and challenges of meeting people from different cultures and the ways in which language and human communities shape each other. You will look at the role of intercultural competence at the workplace, reflect on the use of English as lingua franca in international contexts, and get a flavour of the skills involved in language-related professions such as translation and interpreting.

Free course
14 hrs